Leeds or Paris? Council’s plans for city centre street cafes
Plans to create a continental-style street cafes in a lively area of Leeds City Centre have been approved by planners in the city.
Following the pedestrianisation of Greek Street, Leeds City Council officers have created a guide for street cafes to add ‘vitality and attractiveness’ to the area.
The plans would see Greek Street, which hosts some of the city’s most popular bars and restaurants, increase the wideness of its central walkway, and create barriers to better allow existing businesses to include seating in the street.
A document created by council planning officers adds that the current refurbishment work taking place on Greek Street is expected to finish in May 2020.
Early plans for the site include ‘Increasing the central walkway from 3.0m to 3.25m’, as well as providing an increase in the space allowed to be used for street cafes.
It adds that a ‘strong, straight and consistent’ line of street café barriers would be included to help partially sighted people navigating the street. The report added businesses will need to apply for street café licences in the normal way.
The report states: “The pedestrianisation of Greek Street contributes positively towards supporting growth, investment and businesses and by contributing to improved air quality through the removal of most traffic.
“Street cafes aim to improve vitality and attractiveness of the city centre and contribute to the best council plan.
“The intention is that this ‘master’ plan will be used as a guide, and individual businesses will apply for street cafes in the normal way. The overall layout plan is not fully prescriptive. It only offers a guide to businesses on the maximum extent of their areas, and it is up to them to apply for street cafes which adhere to the normal licensing rules, but which comply with the maximum dimensions stipulated.”
The masterplan has been approved by council officers, but individual street cafe applications are set to be submitted as normal.